Today I would like to talk about something that is very important for each tennis player – the tough losses on the court and how you react on them. I think everyone who plays competitive tennis knows the feeling when you lose a close match and you know you could have done better. You could have won it, could have been more aggressive, or have more patience. Again and again you play it in your head and ask yourself why, why didn’t I hit that ball cross court, or down the line, or just put it in the court. It would have been all different story! There are many things you’d like to change in this match but it’s too late, you lost it. And everybody around, literally EVERYBODY, seems to know it, some of them are clearly happy, others just curious and looking for something to talk about. So the first thought you have in your head is just to leave so you don’t see anyone. Just get away from this place. Actually, the next morning sometimes is more difficult then the day of the match because you kind of realize that there are things you have to do regardless of how you feel at the moment.
I probably made the colors a little darker then they really are but some people are more likely to get emotional then the others. The truth is, NOTHING really happened. You just lost a tennis match. You didn’t do well, played bad, were unlucky. And so what? There is no way it could effect your next match.
My point is, the only thing you actually have to remember from this match is what you would like to do differently next time. Maybe you will still lose but do it the right way. And for now just move on as if everything was going according to your plan A. You will tell me that it’s easier said then done. No, not really. It’s all about how you decide to take it. Interesting, one time I was in the changing room with Johanna Konta, the British player. The lady from the player’s services walked in and asked he if she won her match. “Oh, I lost.”- answered Johanna. “I am so sorry, – said the lady, obviously feeling bad that she actually asked the question. – I hope you are not too disappointed!” “It’s just another day at the office, – replied Konta, – once you walk off the court, it’s over, you analyze and just move one. Tomorrow you work on the things again.” I remember thinking that this is a great example of very businesslike approach to tennis. Now, couple of years later, I actually understand that it helps much more, then taking it close and spending time worrying about how bad did you do out there. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about the outcome. Not at all! You just do what HELPS and don’t waste your time and emotions on what DOESN’T HELP.
I am sure that this approach will pay off. Next time you walk off the court, remember that tomorrow will be a new day and new chance to do something better!